U.S. Signals It Will Make No Further Concessions As Iran Nuclear Talks Resume

The United States has laid out all the concessions it’s prepared to make in order to rejoin the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, a senior administration official said on the eve of a fourth round of talks on bringing Washington and Tehran back into full compliance with the deal.

The official, who spoke to reporters on a conference call on May 6, said Iran shouldn't expect major new concessions, and success or failure now depends on Iran making the political decision to accept those concessions and to return to compliance with the accord.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview it was unclear whether Iran is prepared to make the decisions necessary to return to full compliance with the agreement.

“They unfortunately have been continuing to take steps that are restarting dangerous parts of their program that the nuclear agreement stopped. And the jury is out on whether they’re prepared to do what’s necessary,” he said in an interview broadcast on May 6 on NBC.

The talks, which are taking place in Vienna, are focused on creating a road map for Washington to lift sanctions on Iran and for Tehran to reinstate restrictions on its nuclear program that were laid out in the original deal.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, the head of Iran’s delegation, said after the third round of talks ended on May 1 that Tehran stands by its demand for the United States to lift sanctions across a range of sectors, including oil, banking, and most individuals and institutions.

Araqchi told Iranian media there was progress despite the differences, but European diplomats from the so-called E3 -- France, Britain, and Germany -- said the talks had moved very slowly.

The talks began last month with senior officials from China, Germany, France, Russia, Britain, and Iran -- the remaining parties to the deal – taking part. The United States does not have a representative at the table because it left the deal, but European diplomats are acting as intermediaries between the Iranian and U.S. delegations in Vienna.

U.S. President Joe Biden has said he wants the United States to rejoin the deal, which former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, reimposing sanctions against Tehran. Iran responded as of 2019 by breaching many of the deal's limits on its nuclear activities.

In parallel with the nuclear talks, Iranian media reported last weekend that there was an agreement between Tehran and Washington for the release of prisoners held by each side.

Washington and London have dismissed or downplayed the reports, as well as others that have said the United States is considering unfreezing some Iranian assets.

The latest report on the unfreezing of assets came on May 6 when CNN reported that $1 billion in Iranian funds could be unfrozen for use in humanitarian relief.

The funds would be allocated to the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement, which was set up last year to allow humanitarian to be sent to Iran without violating U.S. sanctions, the report said.

The Iranian funds have been frozen in accounts in the United States and their release could serve as a goodwill gesture, according to sources quoted by CNN. But the plan is facing opposition from some members of Congress who view unfreezing Iranian funds as diminishing U.S. leverage.

With reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and CNN

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
Ransomware Criminals Targeted in Ukrainian Police Raids.

Ransomware Criminals Targeted in Ukrainian Police Raids.

Police video shows cash and luxury goods being seized in an operation against the Cl0p gang, responsible for hacking organizations in the U.S. and South Korea.» Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of inn...

FACT CHECK: ‘Zero Evidence’ for Novel Coronavirus Lab Leak? Not so Fast.

FACT CHECK: ‘Zero Evidence’ for Novel Coronavirus Lab Leak? Not so Fast.

On May 26, U.S. President Joe Biden released a statement calling on the intelligence community “to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information” that could allow a “definitive conclusion” on the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind...

Biden Leaves for Geneva Airport

Biden Leaves for Geneva Airport

U.S. President Joe Biden left the venue where he held a press conference after concluding a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday. READ MORE: U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have ended ...

Watch Joe Biden discuss his meeting with Russia's Putin.

Watch Joe Biden discuss his meeting with Russia's Putin.

President Joe Biden had one single and simple goal at his press conference in the wake of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva: Project absolute and utter normality. Did Biden engage in any threats? No, he said. Was there hyp...

Fox News' Peter Doocy asks President Biden if he'll press China for COVID origin probe.

Fox News' Peter Doocy asks President Biden if he'll press China for COVID origin probe.

President Biden answers Fox News’ Peter Doocy’s question on whether he’ll discuss the origin of COVID with Chinese President Xi. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24...

BREAKING: Biden - 'Putin doesn't want a new cold war'.

BREAKING: Biden - 'Putin doesn't want a new cold war'.

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have met in Geneva, with Mr Biden saying Russia did not want 'a new cold war' SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: Follow us on Twitter: Like us on Facebook: Follow us on Instagram: For more content go to ...